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  • 4

    Information, Advice and Advocacy Services

    (P01)

    Torbay Disability Information Service Chadwell Annexe Torquay Road Paignton TQ3 2DW Tel: 01803 546474 Fax: 01803 546498 Email : dis.torbay@nhs.net

    Torbay Disability Information Service Chadwell Annexe Torquay Road Paignton TQ3 2DW Tel: 01803 546474 Fax: 01803 546498 Email : dis.torbay@nhs.net

    Torbay Disability Information Service Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust 4th Floor, Union House Union Street Torquay TQ1 3YA Tel: 0300 456 8373 Email: dis.torbay@nhs.net

  • P01 – August 2018

    1

    This is a controlled document. It should not be altered in any way without the express permission of the author or their representative.

    On receipt of a new version, please destroy all previous versions.

    Document Information

    Date of Issue: 12 November 2019

    Next Review Date:

    February 2020

    Version: 4

    Last Review Date:

    August 2018

    Author: Christine Evenden, Disability Information Service

    Directorate: Operations

    Important: Please ensure that you are using the latest version of this information sheet. To check this, go to our information sheets page on the Trust website at www.torbayandsouthdevon.nhs.uk/disinfosheets or call the Disability Information Service on 0300 456 8373.

    http://www.torbayandsouthdevon.nhs.uk/disinfosheets

  • P01 – August 2018

    2

    Contents Subject Page

    About this Sheet 3

    Introduction 4

    Information, Advice and Advocacy Services serving Torbay

    12

    Advocacy Services 13

    Advice and Information for Specific Groups of People

    16

    Advice and Information Services for Anyone:

    General Advice 24

    Advice on Discrimination and Human Rights Issues 26

    Advice on Employment Issues 27

    Advice on Health and Care Service Issues 29

    Consumer Advice 31

    Housing Advice 32

    Money and Debt Advice 33

    Independent Financial Advice 33

    Money Management and General Money Advice 35

    Making Payments or Managing Money on Someone Else’s Behalf

    36

    Debt Management – Local Advice Services 37

    Debt Management – National Advice Services 38

    Low Cost Loans, Savings and help to stop Loan Sharks

    39

    Pensions 40

    Taxation 40

    Welfare Rights and Benefits 41

    Other Titles in this Series 42

    Torbay Disability Information Service 43

    Feedback Sheet 44

    Partners in Care

  • P01 – August 2018

    3

    About this information sheet This is one of a series of regularly updated local information sheets that aim to meet the most common information needs of people with disabilities and carers in Torbay. The information should be used as a guide only, as it may not cover all the organisations that can help with your needs. Torbay Disability Information Service (part of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust) cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information or the quality of service provided by the organisations. No liability can be accepted for loss, damage, or injury arising out of any contract made by a private individual with any of the organisations listed. Details change often, so please make sure you are using the current edition. Latest copies of the sheets are published on the following website page: www.torbayandsouthdevon.nhs.uk/disinfosheets

    If you do not have Internet access, you can ask for single copies from our office. A full list of our other information sheet titles can be found at the end of this sheet.

    Information can be made available in other formats and languages. Please let us know what your needs are. Torbay Disability Information Service 4th Floor, Union House Union Street Torquay TQ1 3YA Telephone: 0300 456 8373 Email: dis.torbay@nhs.net

    http://www.torbayandsouthdevon.nhs.uk/disinfosheets

  • P01 – August 2018

    4

    Introduction

    There are a number of agencies providing information, advice and advocacy services in Torbay. Some of these provide information only, whilst others may also offer advice or advocacy services. If a solicitor’s help is required, there are several solicitors firms in and around Torbay, most of which specialise in certain areas of law. This information sheet sets out the kinds of services that advice and advocacy agencies provide. It also gives basic guidance regarding how to decide when to use a solicitor and how to go about finding a local solicitor who can deal with your problems and whose services are also affordable to you. It gives details of several agencies providing advice, information and advocacy services in Torbay.

    What is Information? Information on its own comprises of the facts only about a subject. It does not include any advisory element but can consist of signposting to agencies that may provide advice or support.

    What is Advice? Advice consists of information about an issue (eg. legal rights, etc.) as well as guidance and suggestions of various courses of action that may be taken. Advice given by advice centres must be independent, confidential and impartial. It should also be tailored to the person’s situation, emotional state, personality and level of comprehension.

    What is Advocacy? Advocacy can involve taking action to help people say what they want, helping people to make their choices known, representing their interests or obtaining services that they need. Advocacy services are used by people who have difficulty communicating their own needs, such as people who have learning disabilities or mental health problems. Advocates and advocacy schemes work in partnership with the people they support and take their side. Advocacy promotes equality and social justice.

    Mediation If you are involved in a dispute you may find mediation helpful. Mediation involves an independent third party, ie. a mediator, helping to resolve a dispute between parties. Mediation and other dispute resolution services are not covered in this information sheet. If you require mediation, there is local and national help available - contact us for further information.

  • P01 – August 2018

    5

    Who can help me with my problem? Advice Centres There are local and national advice centres. Most of these are funded by government or charities and provide free advice. Some advice centres offer advice on a wide range of subjects whilst others specialise in a certain area, eg. debt or housing. Some centres offer advice to a particular group of people, such as people with disabilities or young people. An advice centre will give you information and advice about your rights and choices that will help you to sort out your problem. An adviser won’t necessarily sort out your problem for you but may advise you how to sort out your problem or provide extra support in certain cases.

    Solicitors If your problem is complex, you may obtain some initial information and advice from an advice centre but need a solicitor’s help to resolve the problem. Solicitors do more than just provide advice: they can negotiate with the person or organisation causing you the problem, write letters or make phone calls on your behalf, prepare legal documents and court applications or arrange for you to be represented in court. Further Information Online advice:

     Using a Legal Adviser Citizens Advice (see page 10)

    Publication:

     Seven Steps – how to solve an everyday legal problem Advicenow (see page 10)

    Will I have to pay? Advice centres generally provide advice free of charge, whilst solicitors charge for their services. If you are on a low income and have limited savings, you may be able to obtain legal aid, although only certain areas of law qualify for funding since the reform of legal aid that came into force in April 2013 (see page 6). NB. The government are currently in the process of reviewing these legal aid reforms. However, this review may not be published until 2019. To find out whether you qualify for legal aid, use the online legal aid checker in the Legal Aid guide on the GOV.UK website at: www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid

    http://www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid

  • P01 – August 2018

    6

    - this service is free to use and available 24 hours a day. You can also call the Civil Legal Advice line on 0345 345 4 345 or minicom 0345 609 6677 - if you are concerned about the cost of the call you can ask for a call back (for further details, see below).

    What type of legal problems does legal aid cover? Legal aid may be available for the following types of legal problems:

     Risk of homelessness or losing your home, or if it’s in serious disrepair

     Poor quality care you or a family member are getting due to age, disability or special education needs

     Discrimination issues (including those related to employment)

     Family mediation

     Help and advice if you or your children have been victims of abuse or violence

     You’ve been accused o